Claiming salary: when and how?
There are several reasons for an employer not to pay your salary, or not in time. Sometimes this is caused by financial problems. Another possible reason is a conflict between employer and employee, for example a dispute on whether an employee has been absent permissibly. Sometimes conflicts rise on the amount of salary, or for example on the right to a bonus or the payment of holidays. Another reason might be that you have been fired and are not getting payed at all anymore.
Not receiving salary for one or two months often has far-reaching consequences for an employee. Fixed charges continue and not everybody has enough savings that can serve as a buffer to counter such a loss of income.
To secure your rights in the best possible way, it is important that you as an employee write your employer a letter as soon as possible to demand the payment of your salary. In this letter, you should mention the amount and the final date before the money must have been payed. You can also mention that the employer owes you an interest rate, additional costs and a penalty, when your demand is not granted.
The legislator has acknowledged that the timely payment of the salary is of great importance. For this reason, it has created a provision in the law for imposing a penalty for non-timely payment of the salary. If the salary is more than three days late, a
penalty of 5% up to 50% of the bruto salary can be imposed. Whether such a penalty will be assigned, not only depends on the amount of time that has passed, but also the underlying reason. If an employer is considered not to be inculpable and continues the dialogue, the penalty can be reduced firmly (even up to 0%). Besides the penalty, the employer often also owes the employee delay damages and compensation of costs (both extrajudicial and legal costs).
Doesn’t the employer pay after your letter either, do not hesitate and contact an attorney. Your attorney can initiate an interlocutory procedure and ask a judge to force the employer to pay quickly. Although this is only an interim decision that will not be definitive before the actual procedure (or after a five year expiration term), but often this offers a definitive solution, because neither one of the parties wants to continue with the litigation or because employee and employer have come to an agreement that can close the matter.
Sometimes the payment problems have financial reasons. In that case, you might have been proven right by the judge, but you have not received the money yet. Then a bankruptcy request for the employer could be an option. The payment of your salary will then become the responsibility of the UWV (The Employee Insurance Agency) and this agency will have the ability to do this retrospectively up to thirteen weeks.
Have you been faced with an employer who does not pay your salary, or not in time, and do you want to be informed on your options, please already send your employer the letter that is discussed in this article and afterwards contact our attorney Suzanne van Dijsseldonk LL.M as quickly as possible. She will be more than welcome to help you.